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  1. 7 points
    Trip: Chair Peak West Face - [FA] The Upper West Side (WI4+ M4) Trip Date: 01/18/2021 Trip Report: Yesterday @Doug_Hutchinson and I skied out to the west face of Chair with low expectations and too much weight on our backs. As far as I can tell, this face has seen little to no winter climbing activity and was completely off my radar until @Kyle M showed me some photos. Our route started by slogging up ~700ft of steep firm snow with a couple easy ice chokes along the way. Nothing worth roping up for. The sun starts hitting the lower snow slopes around 10am, so I would recommend timing things so you start climbing no later than 10:30. After the slog we arrived at the head of a small alcove where we kicked out a platform and roped up. Gear for a belay is hard to come by, take what you can get. I took the first pitch which ended up being a tricky 20m M4 left facing corner system. Nothing was ever really that hard, but protection was difficult, and the rock quality left something to be desired. A really cool looking super direct mixed pitch can be found just to the right and would probably go at M7. Doug then took the lead on the money pitch. While only about WI4+, this pitch proved to be a pretty serious lead. The crux required climbing into an alcove behind a detached curtain, grabbing a rock hold with your right hand and swinging over a bulge above your head. Not your usual WI4. This pitch took good 10 and 13cm screws, but not always where you want them. One could probably bail back to the snow from here with 2 ropes. Moving forward we climbed a full 65 meters of scrambly snow/rock/ice up to a scottish looking headwall, and up a ramp to the left. Belay off a small tree that may be buried in different conditions. I have a hunch you can go either right or left, not sure which is easier. A short sketchy mixed pitch took us up to the false summit. Not hard, just tenuous and poor pro. ^Placing the only piece on the pitch ^The piece The route finished with a classic Au Cheval alpine ridge traverse with snow and ice on the north side, and warm dry rock on the south. This traverse is VERY poorly protected, and definitely not straight forward. Descent: There are two good options for the descent. The best option by far, is to do this route as a carryover, foregoing the skis and descending the normal route to the east. This requires very firm conditions, but would be much shorter. Since we left our skis in the Melakwa valley, we were forced to descend that direction via a long snow gulley opposite of the standard rappel anchor. The first rappel shares the piton anchor with the standard descent, just in the opposite direction. We left a piton and nut anchor 60M down to the left for future parties. This rappel only got us half way to the next worthy tree, luckily the snow was good for down climbing, but we were well aware of the exposed cliffs below. Two more raps off trees took us to the schrund. Ski back over Bryant col, or for bonus points, continue out via the second half of the Chair peak circumnav in the dark. Link to my Strava track can be found HERE for approach and descent help. Get on this climb! We thought it was pretty classic, and likely not in good condition very frequently. Reach out to me with any beta needs! Thanks to Kyle M for this photo! Green is the route, Red is the descent, and the Yellow dots are rap anchors. The last rap is in a bushy tunnel that may be difficult to find for future parties. Gear Notes: Single rack .2-2, stoppers, KB's and Bugaboos. 6-10 Screws 10-16cm most useful. 2 Pickets brought but never used (per usual). 60m twin ropes. Approach Notes: Ski or boot up and over Bryant/Chair col via pineapple basin. Descend over to Melakwa lake, and up to the base of the wall.
  2. 3 points
    Trip: Chair Peak - NE Buttress Trip Date: 01/17/2021 Trip Report: Climbed NE Buttress of Chair Peak on Sunday 01/17/21. Snowshoe approach with headlamps was warm and wet, with a persistent drizzle. This led to the avalanche slopes along the Snow Lake approach shedding copious roller balls. Despite this, the slopes showed no sign of worrying instability in an impromptu pit test. Roller ball trails clearly visible The snow was well consolidated and rather deep from the recent storm cycle and freezes, so we were optimistic about route conditions. This held true, but the weather wasn't as good. Chair basin itself was in near whiteout conditions with relatively strong winds when we stashed our snowshoes at Thumbtack rock, but with an 11am storm break in the forecast we hoped the flurries would be gone for the higher pitches. The approach ridge to the climb itself was okay snow with some cornicing on the north side. Base of NE Buttress route from ridge The first pitch was fat with both ice and snow, but the ice was weak in many places and would not always take a screw reliably. The tree anchors for the p2 ridge and p3 belay were almost entirely buried, but the snow was solid enough 2 or 3 pieces of pro a pitch felt adequate. The p4 ice step was in and seemed to be in good condition both for climbing and placing screws. P1 ice conditions P4 Ice conditions P5 went easy, and we decided to forgo the summit scramble in favor of making our way down early, not wanting to get benighted on such a low vis day. Needless to say, the 11am storm break predicted never came. We made our way to the correct rap gulley with the help of @DPS's beta, using a double rope rappel to get quickly to the mouth where the snow slope begins. This was a good call, the anchor cornice was rather large and using a single rope would have left us exposed to it in the gulley while pulling the rope. Either there were no anchors from that point, or they were buried. We drove a questionable piton underneath a rock overhang skiers left of the gulley mouth for a second rap to avoid some of the steep snow downclimbing at that point. Partial view of descent gulley with cornice in foreground Descent went as planned. Summary: As of 01/17/21, the route is in good condition, with high snow levels and decent ice higher up on the mountain. Rock gear was used for reliable belays, while many usual rock protection spots were somewhat buried along pitches so ice screws were placed often, even if questionable ice quality was encountered. Gear Notes: Cams .3 to 1 taken, only .4 used. Small and medium nuts used. Ice screws of various lengths used. One snow picket placed, but snow conditions made for bomber pickets if one took the time. Double 60ms for the rappel. Approach Notes: Approach on snowshoes unpleasant due to extensive avalanche debris fields at the time.
  3. 3 points
    Perhaps the first ever double Chair climb/ski orbit in a day! Like Michael said, the best way to do it would be sans skis as a carryover but then you would miss thousands of feet of skiing icy avy debris in the dark, where's the fun in that?
  4. 3 points
    Trip: The Mighty Tooth - Regular Trip Date: 01/17/2021 Trip Report: Took a spin up The Mighty w/ a lad from work for his first mixed climb. Mixed as in slush and rock, with just a hint of ice. Oh man, if it gets cold before it dumps again... Gear Notes: Tricams Approach Notes: Separate cars, slowshoes
  5. 1 point
    Wow, the ice conditions have been great lately...in Wyoming. In WA, conditions are taking the slow-is-smooth approach, it has just been a little too warm for too long. There is some ice out there if you are willing go hunting. Yesterday @Michael Telstadclimbed a new route on Chair Peak. The Upper West Side There is a lot of anticipation building for an upcoming cold snap to happen this weekend and beyond before the snow machine turns back on, so start sharpening yer tools...
  6. 1 point
    I remember in January 2019 when Jacob and I reached the top of the Melakwa Flows and turned around and laid eyes on the beauty. We remarked how it could be "the Winter Dance of Snoqualminix!". But it was far above our pay grade at the time. So psyched someone could finally go send it. Some more enticing photos of it, from a scouting trip around Christmas 2020. Top of the flow is visible in the bottom right. Visible once again upper left of the image.
  7. 1 point
    I've been aware of UW's time-height forecasting system for a while but really started using it this year. There have been several days where NOAA pt predicts clouds or high winds but the time-height shows its calm and clear above 5-6k' and its right on. Reading them takes some getting used to, they are definitely not the most user friendly, but once you've practiced a bit it's easy enough. Time goes from R-L on the x-axis in UTC (date/hour, 00=4pm PST day before and 12=4am day of), elevation is on the y-axis in mbar pressure (800 is aprox 6k', 700 = 10k'). Green = clouds/precip, arrows = wind (more fletchings = more wind, they point in the compass direction), temp is deg C shown in red lines ("0" line is the freezing level). Here is the link to a map of the time-heights. Click on the location down wind of where you want to go. Look for white above 800mbar with small wind arrows, there's your window. https://a.atmos.washington.edu/mm5rt/rt/timeheights_d3.cgi?GFS+current_gfs+
  8. 1 point
    Trip: Mount Curtis Gilbert - West Route Trip Date: 07/11/2020 Trip Report: The catch up from last summer continues.....We're in early July at this point. Most all the federal lands are back open, the snow is melting fast, and the high alpine is calling! And, of course, there are still Smoots to be ticked. Luckily for me @Juan Sharp isn't too picky so it didn't take much arm twisting to get him to make the drive way south to the Goat Rocks and Mount Curtis Gilbert. We opted for the short and sweet approach via the Snowgrass Flats TH, thence to the PCT and Cispus Basin. It was all very short and civilized with great weather and views. First look of Gilbert (R) and Goat Citadel (center) Klickitat from the hike in Juan crossing a scenic stream just before Cispus Basin The man, the myth, the Juan at camp. The blown out hulk of Loowit to the south (R). We kept it Covid friendly and slept in two tents. Shortly after I took this picture, I busted the filter and ring on my go-to lens. Oops. Both my lens, and wrist, though unrelated to one another. The next day dawned clear, earlier than either of us would have liked, and so we had no excuse to stay in camp, starting the engaging slog/scramble using goat paths and steep snow to the mellow area near the summit. Crampons, axe, and helmet kept it reasonable, but there was certainly a lot of loose rock and steep snow to keep your attention. And the views! A rare photo of me (R), thanks Juan! Without too much trouble or head scratching we reached the summit in a few hours, having it to ourselves this glorious day. Views were expansive, from well north of Tahoma way down past Wy'east into central Oregon. It was a great day to tick a Smoot with a good friend. I can't really say much more. Maybe because it was 6 months ago and my memory isn't what is used to be! We must have descended and hiked out at some point, but my memory of the details are hazy. Suffice to say that it was smooth and we got home all in one piece. Another great weekend in the Cascades! Gear Notes: crampons, axe, helmet Approach Notes: PCT to Cispus basin. Good camps above and below the trail
  9. 1 point
    we gave this route a try in october but ran out of time with a mile to go to the summit (we were deep in the scrambling up high). We ended up bailing at sunset. next day we got Old Snowy and Ives, and now I have to go back for Gilbert.
  10. 1 point
    Every xx/00 to xx/12 is 12 hours, it covers 84 hrs.
  11. 1 point
    Trip: MT HOOD - Reid glacier HW Trip Date: 01/09/2021 Trip Report: We climbed Reid HW yesterday. Taking the longer 8a variation. CURRENT ROUTE CONDITIONS: Deep snow from IR over to the base of the route with a bit of snow swimming as you approach the base of the route. Most of the ice steps/ramps consist of hollow ice right now and are much shorter than normal. We did manage to find one steep 60-70M AI3 full value rime/hollow ice pitch. This could be avoided by going farther left up a short ramp. Overall the route right now is mainly steep deep snow, hollow ice and good old MT. Hood rime. Gear Notes: Two tools Approach Notes: IR and over to route
  12. 1 point
    x-axis starts on the R and goes back L (counter intuitive right?) and is in xx/yy format. xx is the date. yy is the hour in UTC (8 hours ahead of us in winter and 7 in summer so 00=4pm PST and 12=4am PST). basically you just look for the date and the 12 which is about when you'd be heading up with an alpine start most days. If its white (clear) above and to the L of that then its clear skies.
  13. 1 point
    Trip: Broken Top - Richardson-Rocket Link-up Trip Date: 12/29/2020 Trip Report: The Routes: The Full Richardson is an ice route on the N side of Broken Top. First ascent by Clifford Agocs with Brandon Seymore. It is essentially one 35m pitch of WI4+ up the headwall of an amphitheater that you pass through on the North Buttress Route (listed in Oregon High). If this route were listed in Winter Dance it would probably be described as 150m WI4+ (pitch 1 optional WI3 30m or climb around on snow ramp, pitch 2 WI2 50m up the gully, steep snow up to the headwall, pitch 3 WI4+ 35m, rappel or climb steep snow up and right to a walk off) The amphitheater seems to be producing more ice in recent years as winter temps increase. It was attempted several times by other locals starting in the 90's but rarely found in climbable condition. Based on what I saw on this outing, it seems that there are at least 5 possible routes for the confident smear/mixed leader. Here is a picture of me leading the main pitch... The Rocket Launcher (has definitely been climbed by Pete Keane who calls it Rocket Launcher, this might also be called Cold Sweat FA by Aaron Lish, but that might be a different line, we're trying to track down more info) is a finicky ice line on the East face of Peak 9094 (Broken Top's South summit). Because it is in the Crook Cirque (the so-called crater) which is a South facing glacial bowl and East facing, it can be hard to find in good condition. It starts up some easy ice mixed ledges for ~50m (exposed WI2/3 when fat) and then climbs a beautiful gash feature which is steeper than it looks into a hanging bowl (55m WI4, probably deserves an R rating most of the time). From there the obvious course of action is to just climb the easy snow for 90m to the summit ridge (often corniced), and then either head up to your R and tag the 9094 summit or down and L until you can down climb open snow slopes to the valley below the glacial moraine. Here is a recent picture... Our day: Clifford Agocs and I used a sled to get to the wilderness boundary by Ball Butte just before dawn. We opted to boot (not recommended, but our desired linkup and Landon's success booting on the rain crust on our North Sister climb the week before convinced use it would be okay, it was just okay). We hiked around BT via No Name Lake to the Bend Glacier and transitioned to crampons etc. at the base of the North Buttress Couloir. We soloed the approach pitches to the base of the Full Richardson and I got the sharp end as Cliff had already snagged the FA. Ice was in difficult condition (brittle but sticky to get the tool out again), definitely solid 4+ in the Rockies, Cody, etc. similar to steepness to leading Cleo's at Hyalite when it's fat but without the hooks. On top anchor options were limited. I dug down, bottomed out some screws in decent ice and tied them off. We then unroped and front pointed the snow up to the summit pinnacle and followed the standard scramble to the summit. We down climbed the summit and made one short rappel, then we traverse the W face to the top of the 11 O'clock Couloir. We tried to saw the cornice with the rope but its a big ice block with the weather we've had so Cliff body belayed me down next to it to check the snow before we both committed to down climbing. Once in the crater we traversed over to the base of the Rocket Launcher and soloed the first few steps until aerated ice and snice over some steeper/exposed rock made us rope up. I lead ~15m to a belay stance just R of the the crux pitch (left a fixed pin for ya). Cliff lead the next pitch in lovely spindrift conditions which started on good WI4, involved stemming through vertical snice, and climbing easier alpine ice up to a short vertical pillar. The pillar was pretty awkward so he brought me up and I got to lead the vertical ice into overhanging rock with an awkward move left, digging through snow for a stick and hooking a blob on the overhang to skate my way through (not hard per se, but definitely some of the more awkward ice I've climbed). I made a belay in some rock 15m up and then we simuled the snow up the bowl and gully above to the ridge. We hiked back to the sled in the fading light. Luckily the increasing winds were at our back, though the variable drifts made for some frustrating post-holing at times. Roughly a 12hr car-to-car. Pictures: Leading the Richardson... Cliff topping out Richardson... BT summit shot, Rocket Launcher climbs a hidden cleft on the L face of the peak on the R (Peak 9094)... Approach ice on the Rocket Launcher. You can just see the main ice in the cleft in the upper middle of the photo... Cliff leading the main pitch on Rocket Launcher, he's just above the difficult snice section and you can see the awkward pillar poking into view at the top of the gully... Gear Notes: 1x stubby, 4x 13cm, 3x 16cm, 1x 22cm, 2x knife blades, smallish nuts, long slings, 6-8 alpine draws, 1x 60m half rope Approach Notes: Sled + slog
  14. 1 point
    Trip: Mt Hood - Right Ridge of Icefall / Boy Scouts Chute Trip Date: 12/04/2020 Trip Report: Climbed up the rime encrusted rocks on the right ridge of the Icefall / Boy Scouts Chute. Tool and foot placements were difficult since there was little consolidated snow or hard ice. Most of the ice was rime on large rocks. The lower part of the route was the most difficult. More image here https://imgur.com/gallery/x2t3tMU Route: Some mid-route shots: About to top out: Gear Notes: Two tools, crampons, helmet Approach Notes: Walk up the chewed up cat tracks
  15. 0 points
    are these for sale still really need
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